[Buddha-l] Watery dharma

Katherine Masis twin_oceans at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 15 23:09:06 MST 2007

I can only speak for the Zen center I belonged to for several years before turning to Vipassana practice in the last few years.  At the main Zen center I attended in New England, nobody spoke about Christian church membership.  The subject was simply never brought up in conversation.  I don’t know if it was a taboo subject or not.  One man at that center married a Protestant woman.  Their wedding, officiated by the Zen teacher complete with Japanese chants, took place at the woman's childhood Christian church.  The pastor was completely open to this.   
  At the satellite center I attended down here, where the Zen teacher only came to teach twice a year for a week at a time, a few members openly said they saw no conflict between Catholicism and Zen Buddhism.  These folks also spoke openly about attending mass on Sundays and putting their children through Catholic schools.  One woman married her husband twice in the same week:  the first wedding was officiated by the Zen teacher, and the second wedding was officiated by a Catholic priest.  Contrary to her expectations, this woman was pleased to report that the Catholic priest was very open to bless her mixed marriage.  To be perfectly honest, I never heard any accusation of watering down the dharma directed at these folks.  I was part of the "ex-Catholic" majority at that satellite Zen Center and nobody would ever have thought of judging the "Zen Catholic" minority.
  Katherine Masís
  San José, Costa Rica

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